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Australian film has seen as resurgence in the 21st century. Not since the heyday of the 1970s has the antipodean cinema scene enjoyed such a swell in international popularity. For a very long time, the only films to come out of Australia were comedies. These films were representative of Australian cinema to the world at large and determined what kind of movie was considered commercially viable in its home country. This resulted in a rush of Australian comedy films that stuck fast to the rule of diminishing returns. Thank God then that we have had such a great run of Australian films lately and more particularly, the absolutely terrific sex comedy, The Little Death.
A portmanteau film that’s a little reminiscent of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia and the work of Woody Allen, The Little Death is absolutely concerned with sex. Each story encapsulates the delicate realm of sexual honesty. »
- Liam Dunn
“This is the first shot of this movie that I think we should all unashamedly try to make a great movie. And don’t apologize, let’s just try and make a really, really, really fantastic movie. Cause there’s no shame in that.” Thus spake Paul Thomas Anderson on the first day of shooting “Magnolia” (as recorded in the “Making of” documentary from the DVD) and it’s a moment that has stuck with us ever since we first watched it. Who in hell announces that he wants to make a fantastic movie and then actually goes and makes a masterpiece? Paul Thomas Anderson, that’s who. As we mentioned when running through the films of David Fincher recently, career retrospectives are something we’ve historically tried to reserve for filmmakers with a back catalogue that at least stretches into the double figures. But there are rare occasions we break that rule, »
- The Playlist Staff
Two time Oscar nominee Melinda Dillon turns 75 today. Since we don't like any major actresses to totally fade from public consciousness when they stop working, let's look back. Though her last working year was 2007 her most recent high profile gig goes back much further to a SAG nomination as part of the ensemble of Magnolia (1999, pictured left) in which she played wife and mother to Phillip Baker Hall and Melora Walters.
Though she'd been working for a decade before it in small parts (TV guest gigs and improvisational comedy) her first real claim-to-fame came as "Memphis Sue" Woody Guthrie's wife in the Best Picture nominated bio Bound for Glory (1976). She received a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Acting Debut" (a now long defunct category) even though it wasn't her debut. Dillon's breakout led to bigger parts and two well-regarded Oscar nominations though curiously the Globes, who had first honored her, »
- NATHANIEL R
After big festival bows at the Venice, Telluride and New York film festivals, Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" finally opens in limited release this week. Michael Keaton is well on his way into the awards spectrum this year, but his co-stars deserve some looks, too, and none more so than Edward Norton, whose mercurial method actor Mike Shiner lights up the screen every time he's on it, and might be the best thing he's done since "Fight Club" and "American History X." Norton's a pretty soft-spoken and thoughtful guy, but confident in his perspective. He has a reputation for taking a major part in the creative process when he can, and Shiner has that shade, too. You're free to consider that more or less than a footnote; the meta discussion around the film will continue to be as overstated or understated as it needs to be to fit this or that think piece. »
- Kristopher Tapley
It's been 15 years since 1999, because that's how time works. 1999 is generally considered a great year for movies. Transformative, even: A diverse array of films, directed by a fleet of up-and-coming filmmakers, all arriving at the multiplex back when cable was lame enough and the internet was slow enough to make the multiplex a place that mattered. If you happened to be young in 1999—or young-ish—it was possible to feel like you were seeing the entire cinematic art form evolve in front of you. Fifteen years ago this month was Three Kings and Fight Club and Being John Malkovich, instant-cult »
- Darren Franich
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s sweeping vision of sunbaked ‘70s Southern California, gumshoe Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is woken up by an ex-girlfriend, Shasta Fey Hepworth (Katherine Waterston), caught up in a messy situation. The rest of Inherent Vice feels like that confusing moment between being awake and being asleep, grabbing at sensible threads among a slew of disorienting details.
At first, the private investigator begins the search for his ex’s new lover, a real estate mogul named Mickey Wolfmann that has disappeared. Shasta suspects Mickey’s wife, who has been seeing a lover of her own, and as Doc visits her home he stumbles onto a sexy party she’s hosting for the Lapd, all of whom seem unconcerned by her husband’s absence.
Soon, Doc is navigating Aryan Brotherhood biker gangs, desert-set sex parlors, hippie music cult/communes, coke-fueled dentists’ offices and a massive cuspid-shaped building with a golden tip, »
- Zachary Shevich
Between Dan Gilroy's "Nightcrawler" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice," you're going to be seeing a lot of Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit's work this year. Not only that, but you're going to be seeing a lot of Los Angeles location work in these films that showcases areas and eras of the city unique to the silver screen. When Elswit rang me up from London, where he's currently shooting the fifth "Mission: Impossible" film with director Christopher McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise, I found it a little difficult to keep from going long on all of this. Few DPs have had the opportunity to play with the City of Angels in such specific ways. Much of that is owed to Elswit's collaboration with Anderson, which has sketched the city, particularly the San Fernando Valley, almost as a character in films like "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and "Punch Drunk Love. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Thomas Pynchon has written eight acclaimed novels, but no one had the brass to adapt one for the screen until Paul Thomas Anderson tackled Inherent Vice. The director's second consecutive collaboration with Joaquin Phoenix was the centerpiece gala at the New York Film Festival, where it made its world premiere on Saturday. If the trailer for the film gave off a Big Lebowski vibe, that's partially because both films are at least partially inspired by The Big Sleep, the classic 1946 noir with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. "I saw The Big Sleep and it made me realize I couldn't follow any of it, »
- Jeff Labrecque
The good-vibing ’60s are slip-sliding away in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice,” and along with them a certain idea of pre-Vietnam, pre-Manson California life — of boho beach towns and uncommodified counterculture soon to be washed away by a tsunami of gentrification, social conservatism and Reaganomics. Freely but faithfully adapted by Anderson from Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 detective novel — the first of the legendary author’s works to reach the screen — Anderson’s seventh feature film is a groovy, richly funny stoner romp that has less in common with “The Big Lebowski” than with the strain of fatalistic, ’70s-era California noirs (“Chinatown,” “The Long Goodbye,” “Night Moves”) in which the question of “whodunit?” inevitably leads to an existential vanishing point. Not for all tastes (including the Academy’s), this unapologetically weird, discursive and totally delightful whatsit will repel staid multiplex-goers faster than a beaded, barefoot hippie in a Beverly Hills boutique. »
- Scott Foundas
Exclusive: Following her exit from the executive suites of Warner Bros after steering Gravity, Magic Mike, Man Of Steel and others over a decade, Lynn Harris was rumored to be headed for a multitude of exec jobs that included being part of former boss Jeff Robinov’s new shingle. She instead chose to become her own boss. Harris has partnered with her husband Matti Leshem in Weimaraner Republic Pictures, a company that will generate content in film, TV and digital. They have quietly set up a bunch of projects at studios around town, and I only found out about their overall plans when Deadline revealed the heated auction for the Tony Jaswinski girl-vs.-shark pitch In The Deep, which Sony acquired as two other studios circled in the water.
- Mike Fleming Jr
By Anjelica Oswald
The 87th Academy Awards could see a collection of familiar names in the costume design category, from Oscar winner and 10-time nominee Colleen Atwood to one-time nominee Michael Wilkinson. When It comes down to securing nominations for costumes, it doesn’t matter how well the film has fared in other Oscar categories. Films such as Jane Eyre (2011), Mirror Mirror (2012) and The Invisible Woman (2013) were only nominated for costume design.
Atwood could receive nominations for Disney’s Into the Woods and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes during the upcoming awards cycle. Of her 10 nominations to date, she’s won three: best picture winner Chicago (2002), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) and Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010). Atwood has designed the costumes for nine of Burton’s films: Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
As predictions are being made for possible contenders at the 87th Academy Awards, the cinematography category has some Oscar veterans making a possible return and a few names could have more than one film up for contention.
Six-time nominee Emmanuel Lubezki has been mentioned as a contender for his work on Birdman, which could earn him a consecutive Oscar following his win for Gravity (2013) at the 86th Academy Awards. Though Interstellar hasn’t premiered yet, the trailer has brought Hoyte Van Hoytema, director of photography for Her (2013), into the mix as well. With two films that could be up for contention each, cinematographers Bradford Young and Robert Elswit have appeared on multiple lists as possible nominees at the upcoming Oscars.
- Anjelica Oswald
This weekend, Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, will receive its world premiere at the New York Film Festival — and now, the film's first trailer has finally been released.
Set in the early Seventies, the clip opens with voiceover narration that advises: "If it's a quiet night out at the beach, and your ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend and his wife and her boyfriend and a plot »
Comfortably one of the most eagerly awaited movies of 2015 is the latest from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice. A man already with the likes of Magnolia, There Will Be Blood and The Master to his name, Anderson's latest features Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Jena Malone amongst its impressive cast.
And now? It has a synopsis, a poster, and a trailer. In order then, here's the official synopsis...
"When private eye Doc Sportello’s (Joaquin Phoenix) ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a loony bin… »
Today we have the trailer for the upcoming "Inherent Vice" film, which is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights) and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin. Check out the trailer below. Plot: In Los Angeles in 1970, drug-fueled detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Phoenix) investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. The new movie co-stars Benicio Del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Eric Roberts, Jena Malone, Martin Short and Maya Rudolph. It's set to hit select theaters on December 12th. Trailer: »
The name of the game seems to be chaos. That’s how Owen Wilson and Josh Brolin have both described the process of “Inherent Vice.” It’s not something you expect to hear from filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. But his style has radically evolved. Traits indebted to Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman evident in “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” have been replaced by a much looser, experimental approach to filmmaking. Ever since “There Will Be Blood,” the director's work has arrived to a new level eschewing most obvious influences. “The Master” disavowed narrative even more, going for a dreamy mood and a skewed tone, but PTA’s latest, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s “Inherent Vice,” is a detective stoner comedy with psychedelic overtones. “It has this 'Big Lebowski' element to one side of it, but the emotional undertone, the desperation, the paranoia, and the yearning in the film…" New York »
- Edward Davis
Even with another flood of specialty film debuts, The Skeleton Twins, the dramedy starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, had another impressive box office showing in its third weekend. Meanwhile, another dozen films tried to elbow past last week’s 14 newcomers and numerous others already in the market, to middling success among those reporting.
Other than Twins, the holdovers that look like they’re gaining some autumnal momentum include IFC Films‘ The Trip To Italy with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, and more niche-oriented films such as American Experience/PBS Films’ doc Last Days In Vietnam and Oscilloscope’s Art And Craft. Starz Media also scored a robust gross for the second week of Not Cool, featuring YouTube star Shane Dawson, as it migrated east to New York and was also profiled on a Starz channel doc series.
CBS Films’ Pride can be proud of scoring the weekend’s highest average among new titles. »
- Brian Brooks
When listing influences for "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 detective novel, Paul Thomas Anderson drops genre staples that don't come as much of a surprise: "The Long Goodbye," "Kiss Me Deadly," "The Big Sleep" — on-screen mystery fiction done right. But his tonal reference points turn any conjured vision of the movie on its head. “‘Police Squad!’ and ‘Top Secret!’ are what I clued into,” Anderson told the New York Times in a recent profile. “We tried hard to imitate or rip off the Zucker brothers’ style of gags so the film can feel like the book feels: just packed with stuff. And fun.” Is mutton-chopped Joaquin Phoenix the heir to Leslie Nielsen's throne? The idea sounds sublime, even as it dampens the "Inherent Vice" awards potential. The Academy isn't the silliest bunch. Set along a fictional California beach town in the 1970s, "Inherent Vice" follows Doc »
- Matt Patches
The film-festival circuit this time of year is not unlike presidential-primary season. Venice or Telluride are sort of like the Iowa caucus, an important first step for a film to generate some name recognition and Oscar buzz—but not exactly the setting for a coronation. Toronto is the traditional Oscar-campaign battleground, a sort of New Hampshire primary that often separates the contenders from the pretenders. Last year, Toronto unofficially nominated 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club, and those films went on to collect major awards.
But this year, the races still remain wide open after the first new rounds, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Wow. Fifteen years after Paul Thomas Anderson's valley opus Magnolia, we get the Millenium Entertainment take on Altman-esque sprawl with Reach Me. This film looks a bit out of its mind, but maybe it's in the service of some kind of mad genius. All I know is it doesn't look boring, even though it seems to be in search of a consistent tone (it oscillates wildly between serious pathos and comic relief). I will indeed be seeing it. Hit the jump for the Reach Me trailer and poster. The film was directed by John Herzfeld and stars Sylvester Stallone, Tom Berenger, Kevin Connolly, Danny Trejo, Kyra Sedgwick, Nelly, Cary Elwes, Thomas Jane, Terry Crews, Danny Aiello, Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Cohan, Ryan Kwanten, as well as Tom Sizemore. Trailer courtesy of Deadline: Here's the official synopsis: A motivational book written by a mysterious man (Tom Berenger) goes viral and quickly gains popularity, »
- Evan Dickson
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